Chairperson: Judith De Witt
Introduced to English Country Dancing by Vic and Brenda Godrich, she began dancing at Thursday Beginners and has subsequently sought to make up for lost time by dancing from Staffordshire to Cambridgeshire, Devon to Sussex and in California and Massachusetts. She served as Membership Secretary of the FCSH from 2014 and was elected Chairperson in 2016. When not engaged with ECD, she listens to early vocal music and opera.
I started dancing at CSH when I was 16 and have danced mainly there ever since as I have always lived close. As a member of the Whirligigs demonstration team led by Marjorie Fennessy, I was one of the fortunate dancers Pat Shaw used to trial some of his dances. Having started in the Beginners Class with Douglas Kennedy, I ended up leading the class until the end of July 2017. The sad death of my husband Vic two years ago has rather curtailed my calling activities and my knees have done the same for my dancing. Through my voluntary work for the Society in the 1980's, I realised what an asset Cecil Sharp House could be to the Society, if administered correctly, and set up the FCSH to help achieve that objective. I served on the then National Council of EFDSS and have been awarded the Gold Badge of the Society. I wrote the illustrated guide, 'The Building of Cecil Sharp House' (2009) and edited the volume 'Pat Shaw 1917–1977' (2010). I still believe that CSH is an asset to the EFDSS and should be used as intended by the Trust Deed.
Louise grew up surrounded by folk music and song, and started folk dancing seriously in 2008. English and American, she spends significant time in each country and dances regularly at Cecil Sharp House. She began teaching and calling folk and social dance in 2009. In the USA, she serves on the board of her statewide traditional dance society, scissortail.org
, and is an active member of the Country Dance and Song Society
, from which she received the Mary Judson/Brad Foster Award for English Dance Teachers in 2016. She believes that we should invest in the evolution and sustainability of folk traditions and their ongoing relevance to contemporary culture.
Bernie became hooked on English Country Dancing from day one and has never looked back! She loves the dances of Playford as well as modern choreographies in the Playford style. Bernie is known for her clear calling style and calls at clubs across the Northwest, as well as at evening dances and weekends across the UK. She was booked to call at the 2020 NVS Summer Camp week in the Netherlands.
Bernie is the co-founder of Kindred Spirits Folk Dance Club in Cheshire (www.kindredspiritsfdc.co.uk), where the focus is on dancing with style. As a dance teacher, she wants all dancers to dance to the best of their ability by encouraging good technique, timing and teamwork.
Bernie was quick to move her calling onto Zoom and hosts regular virtual ECD dance sessions for her own and local clubs, to keep people dancing and connected during lockdown.
Bernie is a committee member of Cheltenham Assembly for the Cheltenham Playford Ball and of Adlington Folk Dance Club in Cheshire. She is webmaster for the Pat Shaw Legacy Group (patshaw.info) and Malvern Folk Dance Club (bculkin.wixsite.com/malvernfolkdance).